Raw milk. I don’t get it. Why would you defend a product with such a high risk of food poisoning? 150 times higher than pasteurized milk.
The number of consumers sickened by drinking raw, unpasteurized milk far exceeds case counts reported in well-publicized outbreaks, a new study from Minnesota suggests.
In a decade in which 21 Minnesotans were sickened in confirmed outbreaks, an additional 530 possible individual cases were logged in state records, and there may have been 20,000 more unreported cases, says a study published Wednesday in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While raw milk is increasingly popular with some consumers interested in natural, unprocessed foods, “it’s important for people to know and understand these risks before they use raw milk or give it to children,” says lead author Trisha Robinson, an epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health. “Pasteurization is around for a reason.”
Public health officials have long warned about the health risks and dismissed anecdotal reports of health benefits as unscientific. A previous CDC study found raw milk was 150 times more likely than pasteurized milk to cause illness outbreaks. Most of the illnesses involve short-lived bouts of diarrhea, but they sometimes involve strains of E.coli bacteria capable of causing kidney failure and death. In one recent outbreak in Tennessee, nine children got sick, five were hospitalized and three developed severe kidney problems, according to state health officials.
The key quote in there is regarding the Naturalistic fallacy – that the natural form of foods is “better” for you. That’s an oversimplification to the point of being wrong. Some processing is of HUGE benefit. Bacteria are not always wholesome and good, that’s why we have processes such as pasteurization. It’s foolish to overlook the risk of raw milk when it provides no tangible benefits, particularly to children. Adults can chose what risk they wish to take with food but it is unethical to serve up such unnecessary risk to children under faulty pretenses.
Meanwhile, raw milk advocacy groups are making specious excuses. The bottom line is, not killing the bacteria IS a hazard. End of story.